Latest on WWE & New Japan working together


PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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Earlier this month, Triple H talked about initial discussions with New Japan Pro Wrestling on doing business together. This week, the other side spoke on a potential working relationship.

Mr. Kidani, the president of Bushiroad, which owns New Japan, wrote about “single global markets” as it relates to his main businesses – playing cards and pro wrestling.

The president floated the idea of potentially placing New Japan video content on WWE Network. This would increase New Japan’s visibility as part of their global expansion plans, especially among English-speaking wrestling fans. Mr. Kitani said this is “one such strategy” the company is considering.

Overall, both cards and wrestling are popular in Japan, especially after what Mr. Kidani described as the “revival” of New Japan in recent years.

However, Mr. Kidani noted in his blog that New Japan still trails WWE on a global scale because WWE is the “strongest wrestling corporation in the world.” Therefore, New Japan is considering whether to work with WWE, or continue to compete against WWE in the global market. And, if they work with WWE, will WWE eventually try to gobble up New Japan’s top stars once they’re exposed to WWE’s audience?

Mr. Kidani added that WWE’s chief growth area is WWE Network distribution, which New Japan has tried to emulate with the New Japan World streaming service to increase their business.

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